Renovate or Start from Scratch?

Renovate or Start from Scratch?

It’s an age old dilemma, you have outgrown your current home, maybe had kids or just need more space for that collection of bicycles you have accumulated. But you like your current home, have emotional attachment to it and it is located in an area that suits you perfectly. So, what do you do? knock it down and start again, or renovate and convert the dwelling? Maybe your goals can be achieved by knocking down an internal wall or two or opening up spaces with the addition of some Bifold Doors. Read on and I’ll explain some of the key things you need to keep in mind when making this decision.

The first thing to remember is that demolishing your house may not even be legal as in certain regions, planning laws determine that houses of a certain age or heritage value are not be knocked down or even significantly altered externally. Always check with your local council as to the exact age and heritage status of your building before you even consider waving a wrecking ball in anger. This may in fact make the decision simple for you.

Once you have confirmed that you can actually demolish your building, consider if your home has the correct solar orientation. In an ideal architectural world, all homes in Australia should be facing north or north east to allow sunlight to enter the living areas of the home. If your current dwelling is facing in the wrong direction (south, or south west) and significant structural alterations need to be done to gain access to northern sunlight, renovating may not be the best option. Having said that, to give your home more natural light regardless of the solar access while also providing more of an open plan feel, consider using Exterior Folding Doors, large glass Sliding Doors or full length Bifold Doors and windows to let in as much light as possible.

Its important to keep in mind that quite often renovating will be more expensive than building a new house from the ground up. Obviously, this depends a lot on the specific house and type of renovation  – particularly whether only superficial or extensive structural re-building has to be performed. However, as a general rule of thumb, most renovations require custom work to be carried out that is specific to only that individual building, as opposed to new houses which can be designed to be built quickly, using contemporary materials and techniques to increase efficiency.

This leads to the next point, which is to do a real estate value check around your town or suburb. Ask yourself if your current home is in the top price bracket or in the lower end of the spectrum and what buyers are looking for in your area – are they looking for renovated character homes or brand new larger dwellings. Will a proposed renovation add real value to your home or will a brand new home still be cheaper to buy than a renovated one? From my experience, there are a lot smaller renovations that will really add value, such as opening up living spaces with large Bifold Doors, modernising fixtures and Door Hardware, removing old carpets and replacing with wooden floor boards to name a few.

In the end it is up to you, your budget and how much you love your home as to whether you renovate or start from scratch. So go on, do your research, be smart and take advice from the professionals and enjoy the journey whatever you decide.